The Amazing, Ginormous List Of Official Banished Words Of The Year

[ Posted Friday, December 30th, 2011 – 17:25 UTC ]

It's that time of year again -- when we turn our eyes to Lake Superior State University (in beautiful Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan), and their official list of this year's banished words.

It's really not all that amazing or ginormous, truth be told, but since both are on this year's list, we thought it only fitting to throw them into this article's title. The word "amazing" actually had what looks like an organized ballot-box-stuffing effort which successfully put it at the top of the list this year. Which is (sorry, I just have to...) truly amazing.

One other notable entry was "Winning The Future," which (as the folks at L.S.S.U. helpfully point out) has already been used by both Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich on the campaign trail. I think it was the only time last year I agreed with Sarah Palin, in fact, when she (also very helpfully) pointed out that "WTF" has another meaning in the initial-speak of today's plugged-in youth. Ahem.

But enough delay, let's get on with the list! You can view the whole thing (with commentary) at the official page for the "Lake Superior State University's 37th annual List of Words Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness" as it's worth reading in its entirety. This year's banished words and phrases:


Baby Bump

Shared Sacrifice



Man Cave

The New Normal

Pet Parent

Win The Future

Trickeration (football, apparently)


Thank You In Advance

Some of the commentary (which comes in with the nominations all year long) is worth quoting, to help explain why these words were so offensive to so many:

[Amazing] -- "Anderson Cooper used it three times recently in the opening 45 seconds of his program. My teeth grate, my hackles rise and even my dog is getting annoyed at this senseless overuse. I don't even like 'Amazing Grace' anymore."

[Shared Sacrifice] -- "Usually used by a politician who wants other people to share in the sacrifice so he/she doesn’t have to."

[Trickeration] -- "Why? Why? Why? This one seems to be the flavor du jour for football analysts. What's wrong with 'trick' or 'trickery?' No doubt, next year's model will be 'trickerationism.'"

[Ginormous] -- "This combination of gigantic and enormous makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck every time I hear it. Each utterance reminds me of the high school drop-out that first used this offensive word in my presence."

My personal favorite of the bunch:

[Occupy] -- "Why couldn't they have used a more palatable kind, like pecan or peach?'"

Heh. OK, that's funny, I have to admit.

Thank you in advance for reading our own humble efforts at journalism all year (from the comfort of your very own man-cave), and I apologize (as always) for any shared sacrifice we all must face by reading the ginormous blowback in the comments here. Such calumny, animadversion, and even trickeration has seemingly become the new normal, it seems. We never cease to find it all a big amazing, to be completely honest. We'd like all our readers to join in the effort to win the future next year, whether that future includes a baby bump in your family, or whether you become a proud pet parent. Whatever 2012 holds for you, though, we invite you to continue the ongoing efforts to occupy!

See you all next year....

-- Chris Weigant


Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant


10 Comments on “The Amazing, Ginormous List Of Official Banished Words Of The Year”

  1. [1] 
    jbl_inAZ wrote:

    Bromance – I could do without this one.

    Kardashian – Unfortunately this designates a specific object, and people insist on talking about it; so we can't get rid of it.

    Mansplain – I don't like this, but I don't think there's another word they can fill its place; so we can't get rid of it.

    No doubt I'll think of more soon as I post this comment.

  2. [2] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    No, no, no - that's my online poker username!!!


  3. [3] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    jbl_inAZ =

    I am totally, 100% in agreement on "bromance." Just had to say that.

    "Baby bump" was the one on the list that I read and thought "Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!", personally.

    I watch a decent amount of football, but have never heard "trickeration". The sports phrases I'm sick of could fill an entire list, though: "pick-six", "go-ahead" (as in "he hit the go-ahead run"), "ribbie" (instead of "R-B-I"), and virtually every term used in snowboarding competitions.


  4. [4] 
    Elizabeth Miller wrote:


    Okay, I just now read the rest of this, after having recovered from discovering that WinTheFuture has been officially banned ... :(

    That was one very fine concluding paragraph. After reading it I began to think ... what does Michale say all the time that I would wish to ban. I thought of many things that would qualify.

    But, then, I thought some more ... the fact is that I wouldn't ban anything Michale says because what he says is, to turn a phrase, worth its weight in gold! :)

    Happy New Year 2012, Everyone - let's hope it ends well!

    Hau'oli Makahiki Hou!

  5. [5] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Picture found at Stonekettle Station

    Sometimes a picture is worth so much more than a thousand words.

    May this year be at least as good as the last.

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    Apologies for being MIA...

    Little situation developed that required my complete attention...

    I am really bummed I couldn't get over the top with 500 posts...

    Well, there is always next year.. Gonna have to make an extra effort.. Maybe hit 750!!! :D hehehehe


    It's a shame that Obama can't brag more about Bin Laden and Libya, because he deserves the praise for having the wisdom to follow the Bush Doctrine.


  7. [7] 
    dsws wrote:

    I dislike "ginormous". It's over-used, and it doesn't add anything.

    Kinda pointless to try to ban a word, though. And what does "banish" even mean as applied to a word?

  8. [8] 
    DerFarm wrote:

    Banish usually means to make the object of observation go to another physical space ... hopefully permanently.

    I guess maybe Chris wants these words to become French?

  9. [9] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    dsws and DerFarm -

    Yeah, the whole thing is tongue-in-cheek, always has been.

    You know, after reflection, the one I wish had made it is "surge" -- some candidate goes up four points in a poll and it's suddenly a "surge". (rolling eyes...).



  10. [10] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    One more thing -

    That photo DerFarm linked to is downright hilarious!

    Just had to say that...


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